FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cooperative Education (Co-op)?

Cooperative Education (Co-op) is an academic class, where a student applies classroom learning in the workplace. Students are placed in jobs directly related to their field of study and work a specified number of hours over the semester in order to complete their Co-op and receive class credit. Most students work and study concurrently.

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Do we pay our Co-op students?

You may list the position as paid or unpaid. We do encourage employers to consider listing a position as paid. Because of the GPA requirement and pre-requisite courses, Co-op students often boast a strong academic record and knowledge base. Employers should be aware that paid positions typically elicit a greater response from students.

When for-profit businesses host unpaid Co-op students, they should follow the six-point criteria outlined by the Department of Labor (DOL). Click here to review the DOL's Fact Sheet regarding Unpaid Internships in the For-Profit Sector. The Co-op department cannot determine if a business is in compliance with the Department of Labor.

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After partnering with CPCC's Co-op program, will a Co-op student be assigned to us?

No, you will not be “assigned” a Co-op student. You will select the student who you consider to be the best match according to the needs of your company. You have access to student applications and résumés and may interview potential candidates.

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Which students are eligible to participate in Co-op?

Generally speaking, a student must be enrolled in a program of study that allows Co-op credit, meet minimum GPA requirements, and have completed a specified portion of the curriculum prior to the Co-op experience. Students also have to be recommended for Co-op by both the Faculty Coordinator and the Co-op Coordinator.

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Will we provide students with benefits?

No. Employers are not required to provide Co-op students with health insurance or other employee benefits. An employer is expected to comply with state laws regarding Worker's Compensation Liability Insurance, and to verify if their policy covers Co-op students/interns. Please review the additional policies that are outlined in the Employer section of the Co-op website.

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I’ve done all the paperwork. Where’s my list of potential students?

Once you have partnered with Co-op and listed your position, we announce the position through campus postings and via Faculty Coordinators. We may also contact individual students who we believe best match the needs of your company. Interested students may then authorize us to send the employer their application or résumé.

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What if a student is placed with me and we find that it's a poor fit?

While we strive ensure the quality and compatibility of Co-op students, occasionally a Co-op partnership does not work out. In such a case, we would make every effort to resolve the situation. As an employer, you can count on the support and commitment of the Faculty Coordinator and Co-op Coordinator. We encourage the employer, if an issue arises, to contact the Co-op office immediately.

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What exactly are my responsibilities as a Co-op Supervisor?

To provide the student with a relevant, program-related learning experience. The supervisor, student and Faculty Coordinator develop three (3) measurable learning objectives (MLOs) that the student is graded on. The supervisor also meets with the Faculty Coordinator during the on-site visit, supervises the student, and completes an evaluation.

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What’s in it for me?

Your participation in Cooperative Education allows you to introduce students to your company work ethic, requirements, and operation. You gain a competitive edge by having a strong role in the education of future full-time or part-time employees. It also gives you the chance to evaluate prospective employees before making a long-term commitment.

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I’m interested in hosting a CPCC Co-op student. What's the next step?

Contact the CPCC’s Cooperative Education office at (704) 330-6217 or co-op@cpcc.edu to talk with a Co-op Coordinator. You may also complete our Online Employer Position Request Form.

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